In December 2014, the Institute received a grant from MSPWin, a new funding collaborative focused on workforce development. These funds will support the development and implementation of a College Readiness Academy.
The Academy was developed as a response to students entering college and being placed into developmental education, where few complete the class sequence, fewer enter credit-bearing classes, and even fewer complete a recognized credential or degree. The Academy will strive to minimize the amount of developmental education required to a single semester or eliminate it altogether. Project partners Saint Paul College, Saint Paul Community Literacy Consortium, the Hubbs Center, and Neighborhood House will work with the Institute to deliver two tiers of five classes and provide support services to students in the program.
The classes will help students develop effective study skills before college, and once in college, students will receive support to navigate financial aid and enroll in a balanced course load that will lead to graduation while avoiding unnecessary student loans.
The College Readiness Academy will serve under-served, first-generation college students including New Americans and other minority populations. Students will bypass or reduce time spent in developmental education, have higher retention in college classes and save money otherwise spent on these classes.